“Brother Craig” – Craig Marshall – A Forrunner of a New Age

Version 2

It seems like yesterday that I entered the meditation gardens at Lake Shrine in Pacific Palisades – Los Angeles – California. Somehow I feel that I never left the place since these first days.  During 25 years I did frequently visit and could call it ‘home’. There I did discover the magic world of high spirit and divine fellowship besides much more.

Lake Shrine is only one of the wonderful locations of Self-Realization Fellowship with its Headquarter at Mount Washington – Los Angeles. Craig Marshall was already a monk there when I started to meditate and somehow I never lost sight of him. I always wondered if our paths had crossed before, maybe in Egypt or during the days of Richard Wagner, as he is an ardent admirer of both fields.

Since life is somehow unpredictable, Brother Mitrananda left the ashram after 35 years of dedicated service and became Craig Marshall again. But he remained the strong personality, sharing – also as a ‘private’ – his positive charisma and unending compassion and understanding as coach and consultant with so many people around the globe.  That’s why I do publish these two interesting interviews which do give the reader a more profound glimpse into his cheerful personality.

A chapter out of the new book  Four Stages of Yoga, by Nischala Cryer, sharing with us valuable insights and fascinating stories that help us understand the dharma of each chapter of life, as we mature from “students” to “sannyasis”.

The second article does give a more private glimpse into his complex life story.

PDF: Brother_Craig_chapter_Four_Stages_of_Yoga

PDF: NuCalm Case Study – Meditation


Photos and articles with the courtesy of Craig Marshall

Copyright Midou Grossmann 2018



Get in tune ….


Many of us do ask yourselves often where we and the world are heading. This question might be as old as the planet. Each time had its tests and upheavals. But nowadays so many things do come out into the open because of the social media and for many it does seem that we are truly living in a doomsday time. I am sure that there are more positive actions on this planet than negative actions. The constant focus on negative news does influence strongly our emotions and we do feel stressful and often even afraid.

To keep our being anchored in peace and in a positive attitude is of importance during this time. Many take up sports, yoga and all kind of hobbies to get out of the circle of stress and fear. These outer things do help for a certain time but as long as we are not able to synchronize our brain channels to joy and peace the battle will never end. Here a most helpful article which came out some years ago, written by the prominent professor and coach Hitendra Wadhwa of Columbia Business School New York, which could help to broaden understanding about how to find a fulfilling life in the midst of a time with never ending tests and challenges. Do not indulge in moods, try to find the path to your higher self. Tremendous healing potential, joy and inspiration are waiting there for you. Do not give up your worthwhile projects and the dream of a better world.


With the kind permission of Prof. Hitendra Wadhwa also Founder of the Institute for Personal Leadership

Copyright Midou Grossmann 2018

Forgotten Opera Revived In Glory


Foto Copyright Midou Grossmann

Klassik Award für eine Opern-Rarität

»Proserpine« von Camille Saint-Saëns neu entdeckt

Prof. Ulf Schirmer, Intendant und Generalmusikdirektor der Oper Leipzig, erhält für seine CD-Einspielung »Proserpine« von Camille Saint-Saëns mit dem Münchner Rundfunkorchester den International Classical Music Award (ICMA) 2018 in der Kategorie »Audio: Oper«. Die CD erschien im Mai 2017 in der Reihe »Opéra français« des Palazzetto Bru Zane, dem wichtigsten Forschungszentrum für französische Musik der Romantik, mit dem die Oper Leipzig in der Spielzeit 2016/2017bei der Neuproduktion der Opernausgrabung von Charles Gounods »Der Rebell des Königs (Cinq-Mars)« zusammenarbeitete.

Zudem hat Professor Schirmer in seiner Zeit als Chef des Münchner Rundfunkorchesters weitere Projekte zusammen mit dem Palazzetto Bru Zane erarbeitet, neben »Cinq Mars« auch Benjamin Godards »Dante«, beide Werke wurden erfolgreich in München, Wien sowie in Paris/Versailles aufgeführt. Verdient ging der Klassik Award an »Proserpine«, erweist sich die Oper doch beim genauen Studium als echte Fundgrube von kompositorischen Finessen und Farben. Saint-Saëns war immer von seiner Oper überzeugt und bezeichnete diese oft als seine beste Arbeit. Doch das Werk erschließt sich nicht sofort beim ersten Hören, gegensätzlich der großen Operntradition, setzt der Komponist hier nicht auf vordergründige Effekte oder orientiert sich an der Tradition der Grand Opéra mit opulenten Arien und Chorpassgen. Als ein Zeitgenosse der Freunde Franz Liszt und Richard Wagner, der er beide kannte, darf man sagen, dass Einflüsse dieser beiden Genies auch in der Oper »Proserpine« zu finden sind, in einer harmonische Symbiose, und das gerade macht das Werk so interessant. Eine durchweg impressionistische Klangsprache dominiert zumeist, wenn auch zuweilen dramatisch musikalische Eruptionen zu erleben sind. Bemerkenswert ist die Ausgestaltung der Gesangspartien, welche konsequent über die Musik hinweg gesungen werden und manchmal sogar à Cappella, zudem glänzend dem französischen Sprachrhythmus angepasst. Ulf Schirmer und das ungemein differenziert musizierende Münchner Rundfunkorchester zeigen sich hier als geniale Interpreten der Partitur, sicherlich ganz im Sinne des Komponisten.

Gesanglich darf ebenfalls von einem hohen Niveau gesprochen werden, die wunderbare Véronique Gens beeindruckt erneut mit ihrem dunkel timbrierten Sopran, der große Gestaltungsfacetten und eine leuchtenden Höhe entfaltet. Die Entwicklung von der dominanten Kurtisane Proserpine bis hin zur verzweifelt Liebenden, die den Tod sucht, kann die Sängerin stimmlich überzeugend umsetzen. Die liebliche Angiola wird von Marie-Adeline Henry ebenso brillant mit einem schönen lyrischen Sopran gestaltet. Die Männerriege ergänzt diese homogene Gesangsteam bestens: Grandios alle, Tenor Frédéric Antoun (Sabatino), Bass-Bariton Andrew-Forster Williams (Squarocca), Bass Jean Teitgen (Renzo). Der Flämische Radio Chor wurde von Chorleiter Hervé Niquet hervorragend für dieses Projekt vorbereitet.

Für jeden Opernliebhaber dürfte diese hervorragende Einspielung sicherlich eine Bereicherung sein. Ob sich das Werk allerdings auf den Opernbühnen etablieren kann, bleibt abzuwarten, denn das Libretto zeigt sich nicht wirklich überzeugend.


Professor Ulf Schirmer 2012 Foto copyright Midou Grossmann

Copyright Midou Grossmann 2018

The Art Of Conducting – Great Conductors Of The Past.


Teldec Video 1.57 minutes – 1994 – YouTube as well

I just watched this as a video. Very interesting – the sound, the different technics, the metaphysical approach. So personal each, but the main topic which does come through is dedication and at the end someone does says: we all are alone here and music does give us a feeling of not being alone anymore. So important and true. Also interesting to see women in the orchestras. The first in Canada and Great Britain – Berlin and Vienna very belated, none seen yet in these days till 1965.

I liked best Reiner, Stokowski, Toscanani and Karajan. If there can be talked of best. Though Reiner’s baton has to be seen. Also interesting the German school, conducting mostly out of the wrist and with the eyes. Extreme here: Richard Stauss and at the other end of the scale Lenny (Bernstein).

Nowadays with all the hype about entertainment and social media this kind of artistically field is more important than ever before. Does the East have its tradition of spiritual rituals and introspection; the West has the tradition of music. Besides this there is often no place in our western society to go ‘inside’ for one or two hours, to converse with your higher self. This has nothing to do with the emotional stimulations most current media does deliver, no, good music – and I see good music everywhere when patterns of high frequencies overcome the dull and delusional emotional feeling in men – can uplift human beings and pull them above all kind of moods which block true creativity.

The classical music business tends to go strongly towards show and strong business management. Yes, orchestras are expensive to run, but music is as important as education or health. Society has forgotten this and it is time to provide tools for the people which do allow them to discover their very best and live a life free of welfare and dependencies. Overcoming hurt and sorrow by discovering a higher dimension of existence.

Midou Grossmann 2018